Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Harvest Market Top Ten on Opening Day

The time has come to peruse this weekly market which opens Thursday, June 11 10am - 4pm and is every Thursday until October 8, where area growers bring fresh, quality vegetables, fruits, bread, meat, eggs, olive oil and more in this neighborhood setting in Downtown Elgin at the Civic Parking Lot - corner of E. Highland & Douglas Avenue.

So here are the Top Ten reasons to check out opening day at the market this Thursday:

1) The Harvest Market Vendors
Welcome and sample new vendors like Oberweis, Monkey Bar, Copa do Sol, and later on in the year Royal Oak Farms and Oriana's Orchard. But don't worry the “regulars” are all back like the "Dog lady", Breadsmith, "Olive Man", "Spice Man", Gloria's Meats & Eggs, KAP Farms, Windy Acre Farms, and the "Mirai Corn" folk!

2) Chicago Bandit’s “Veggie Pitch”
The 2008 World Champion Chicago Bandits will be testing their fast pitch skills not with 12 inch softballs, but with vegetables! Not only will the Bandits be tossing veggies around, but they will be signing autographs as well as giving Harvest Market customers a quick lesson in how to really pitch a softball. (Must be at least 18 years old to play ball) They will also be raffling off game tickets and an autographed pennant.

3) FREE Harvest Market Reusable Tote Bags
NEW THIS YEAR you can own a free Harvest Market tote bag by showing us your proof of purchase at the market and then reuse it again, again, and again while promoting we are your preferred market. And plus our bags are eco-friendly made out of 100% recyclable materials!

4) Harvest Market Sponsors
Alexian Brothers Hospital Network has partnered with the Harvest Market as its main sponsor to bring you those spiffy eco-friendly tote bags mentioned previously and will be at the market every week helping your overall wellness. On Opening Day they will be providing blood pressure and body fat screenings, pedometers and step tracking logs and other health related information.

But not to be left out, our supporting sponsors of the market are chiropractic in nature from Chiro One Wellness Centers, to Lifetime Health and Wellness, and Rominski Active Healthcare. These three will rotate in and out during the season offering various information, advice, etc. Lifetime Health and Wellness will have a money box where everyone can grab a prize like t-shirts and various chachkeys.

5) Activate Elgin Educational Booth
Learn about this great partnership that concentrates on combating obesity and is all about eating healthy. They will have handouts and giveaways at their booth, along with hosting a cooking demo with Chef Virginia Lopez at noon. Come learn how to make Veggie Kabobs and savor a sample! For more information about this Elgin organization go to www.activateelgin.org

6) $1 Raffle Tickets – BBQ Set
Also take advantage of a $1 raffle (or 6 for $5) to win a Bears Tailgate BBQ Grill and Tool Set (which will be set up on site). The winner will be notified Thursday afternoon/evening after the market. Proceeds of the raffle will go back into the market getting bigger and better!

7) Elgin Climate Change Organization (ECCO) and Elgin Community Network (ECN) Educational Booth
Join these two groups at their booth that is all about sustainability and Elgin neighborhoods! They will have “Take the Challenge” postcards, rain barrel information, FREE CFL’s (Yes, those energy efficient light bulbs), and a composter. Also joining them will be the Elgin Public Museum with soil samples and info on ecosystems.

8) Free Rediscover Downtown Elgin Tour
Join Jennifer Benson, program coordinator for the Downtown Neighborhood Association, in perusing and rediscovering stores and organizations like Pastigel, Bella’s Fashions, Super Print, Central Barber Shop, Ravenheart Coffee, Salon Couture, Top Notch Tattoo, YWCA, Carswell’s Flooring, Simple Balance Holistic Center, Elgin Public House, Elgin Books & Coffee, Wrona Brothers, Antiques & Uniques and Union National Bank.

9) Lunchtime/Snack Options
Besides munching your purchases from Harvest market vendors, there will also be on site In the Neighborhood Deli, an Elgin deli which will be providing hotdogs (regular and organic), chips, and beverages during your lunch hour – roughly 11am – 2pm.

Also the Community Crisis Center will be selling popcorn 10am – 3pm every Thursday, so make sure to buy it with your lunch or for a quick snack during the mid-morning or mid-afternoon break!

Want more variety? Visit one of 15+ Downtown Elgin restaurants which are in walking distance of the market. Get your lunch to go or sit in their air conditioned locations, and enjoy food to match your mood from Italian, to American, to German, to Thai, to Pub fare, to Mexican, to Chinese, to Bistro or Café menu items. Downtown Elgin restaurant flyers and maps will be available at the market.

10) Outdoor Art Exhibit
Elgin artist, Erin Herner, will showcase her paintings and print makings all day at the market, along with the rain barrel that is DNA’s Harvest Market submission in “Rain Barrels on Parade” which will be at the market the next 6 markets. Several of her art pieces will be for sale for those interested.

For more information go to www.downtownelgin.org or call 847.488.1456.

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